DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend has been divorced for two years. She shares custody of her two girls, ages 5 and 6, with her ex. She wants to remain friends with him for the sake of the girls. I have supported her friendly relationship with him despite the repeated lies he tells and the deceptive stories he makes up in an attempt to break us up.
Recently, he decided he wants to take his daughters away for a long weekend. He invited my girlfriend to come along and plans to pay for everything, including a hotel room with two beds they will share. I have said repeatedly that this vacation and the arrangements are a deal breaker for me. She assures me that her intent is to be with her daughters and she has no desire for intimacy with her ex. She refuses to change her mind and says I need to trust her. The fact is, I don’t trust HIM based on his actions and many issues between them in the past.
Am I paranoid or obsessing over this? I’d appreciate your input. — Uneasy Down South
DEAR UNEASY: You are neither obsessing nor paranoid. You are normal. Because the ex seems intent on breaking you up and he seems to have no girlfriend in the picture, you have a right to feel uneasy. (I’m assuming that your lady friend is physically fit and if necessary she could defend her virtue.)
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Questions that occur to me are: Why would she want to go away for a long “family” weekend under these circumstances? Why would she insist on it even though she knows it bothers the man with whom she has a relationship? And why, after informing her that this will be a deal breaker, which is an ultimatum, are you tolerating it?
Mother needs professional help
DEAR ABBY: I’m a 17-year-old girl about to head off to college. I have a great relationship with my father, but my mother and I are not on the best of terms.
Half the time, she’s loving and supportive and willing to spend time with me. Other times, she is verbally and emotionally abusive. She’ll call me a failure and a disappointment, and cry for no reason (most likely to get attention).
She has done this since my childhood, and I want to escape her toxicity by shutting her out of my life as an adult. However, she has threatened suicide (she has tried it before).
My father is on her side and says he will refuse contact with me if I disown her. I want to keep them both in my life, but it has become too difficult to endure her abuse anymore. Please help. — College Bound in the Midwest
DEAR COLLEGE BOUND: You’re an intelligent young woman. I’m sure that by now you have realized that your mother has serious emotional issues for which one can only hope she is receiving professional help.
When you leave for college, you will no longer be subjected to her mood swings or the hurtful comments she makes when she’s not herself. Once you have completed your education you will be on your own, and will most likely make a life for yourself wherever your profession takes you. It isn’t necessary to make any decisions about cutting anyone out of your life now. Time will take care of your problem.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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